Teaching children to be independent

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Disadvantaged pupils from KwaZulu-Natal were given a boost to keep their education dreams alive

The United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef) joined forces with the Redcap Foundation to offer pupils empowerment and development skills through their Dream Builders Workshops.

The workshops are in line with the subject Life Orientation, which is being taught at schools. It teaches youngsters to have good values, be responsible for their future, have goals, how to achieve their goals and to work as a team.

Both organisations will raise funds by promoting the Kids are Priceless clothing brand. A percentage of the money will go to funding education programmes.

Parkhill Secondary School is among 10 schools in the country that already benefit from the programme.

Life Orientation teacher Jenny Kruger said: "Pupils should take advantage of all the opportunities that are now available as apartheid cannot be blamed any more. The workshops teach learners to become achievers."

Slindile Magwaza, a Grade 11 pupil, said the workshops have changed the way she thinks and have encouraged her to do things on her own and not wait to be spoonfed or to rely on her parents.

Magwaza said: "My dream is to become a journalist, although I am not very sure yet.

"One of the little things that I have done on my own is to apply for an ID document. At the moment I am working towards getting my learner's licence," said Magwaza.

The Young Heroes is a programme that the two organisations run at primary schools. Younger pupils are encouraged to get involved in physical education, thereby making education fun.

Unicef South African representative Macharia Kamau said they were very proud to be given the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young people in the country.

Natasja Ambrosio of the Redcap Foundation said: "Our main function is to break the cycle of poverty by inspiring young people from low-income communities to become self-sufficient and contributing members of society."